Essence of engineering design process is to optimise the design. To achieve this, the design variables (parameters) are evaluated within the constraints of the design, subject to the broad design intent. Optimisation can be done for any or all (and more) of the objectives below.
- Reducing the cost
- Reducing the weight
- Increasing the performance (durability/ reliability/ efficiency/ speed/ power/ heat dissipation/ flow / vibration damping…etc)
- Reducing the manufacturing time
- Using appropriate materials
- Reducing the rejects / increasing the scrap
Optimisation is achieved in different stages of product development life cycle using variety of techniques.
At ProSIM we have worked with our customers to achieve optimisation of a variety of systems. Some of the examples are given below.
- Reducing the weight of long member of SUV by 14% (by using high strength steel (DP590) and hydro-forming process
- Reducing the weight of commercial vehicle wheels (by 16 to 21% of weight) and increasing the durability.
- Reducing the weight of passenger car connecting rod by 6% and increasing fatigue life by 18%.
- Reducing the weight of a enhanced fatigue meter of fighter air craft by 4 %
Questions such as to use a rod/ bar/ round? What type of section? What thickness etc, are addressed and design is frozen.
Shape optimisation is the process to determine using iterative process to achieve best shape of a structural component to minimise (or maximise) the objective function within the constraints of design space.
Topology optimisation is a FEM analysis based, iterative procedure to arrive at minimum volume of structural material in a given domain. This is achieved by elimination and redistribution of the material based on the strain path.
In parametric optimisation all parameters that affect the design, manufacturing and performance such as the geometric features, material, manufacturing processes, fixing and constraining locations, and so on can be evaluated. This is achieved by linking multiple CAx tools (for example CAD/ Meshing/ FEM/ MBD/ CFD/ CAM/ CONTROL/ Manufacturing software tools).
Design variables within the constraints of design space are then explored. Each of these design cases are explored and evaluated automatically by number of simulations (of stress, flow, thermal, durability etc). Optimisation algorithms such as Genetic Algorithm, Simulated Annealing, and other evolutionary or gradient or stochastic methods or their hybrids.
Using these computer aided optimisation techniques ProSIM can assist their customers to optimise their products / processes faster. ProSIM has also assisted companies to implement optimisation procedures in the upstream of design process.
Design of Experiments (DoE)
By carrying out the design of DoE designer can freeze the sensitivity envelop of design parameters, manufacturing process and operating parameters, for safe and reliable operations. Effect of variations in the geometry (due to manufacturing tolerances), material properties (for example due to heat treatment or composition changes), loading conditions, etc can be evaluated.
ProSIM has capabilities to carry out to conduct DoE using a variety of techniques and tools.
Design Process Automation
Companies make products which are geometrically / functionally similar. For example, gear box for different speeds / torques, pumps for a range of discharges, motors of various ratings, valves of different sizes, suspension springs for various vehicle platforms, and so on. The product development life cycle (PDLC) can be simplified, made faster and tightly integrated with the companies PLM practice. Also, the knowledge and experience gained over years can be captured by proper knowledge management.
The design, analysis procedures ProSIM works with companies to assist them in their design automation process. Design automation helps to save significant effort of designer / analysts by eliminating the repetitive jobs. This is achieved by a combination of usage of design automation tools, parametric modelling, morphing, and scripting using API tools/ macros etc.